On September 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the administration of booster shots of the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine for certain populations. The OC Health Care Agency will begin offering booster shots once they receive recommendations and approvals from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, and the California Department of Public Health. The HCA continues to focus on delivering vaccines to our most vulnerable population and hard-to-reach communities.
According to a recent study from the Peterson Center on Healthcare and KFF partnership, 287,000 unvaccinated people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 between June to August 2021, resulting in a cost of over $5 billion. Residents who have not yet received their initial COVID-19 vaccine series can visit any local pharmacy or healthcare provider, or go online to Vaccines.gov, MyTurn.ca.gov or Othena.com, to schedule a vaccination appointment. For more details, visit occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-vaccine-distribution-channels.
The State of California has increased funding for income-eligible renters and their landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19 to cover 100% of unpaid and future rent or utility bills. This increase in rental assistance payments to 100% of unpaid rent will help make landlords whole and keep tenants housed. You can verify your eligibility for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program and apply immediately by visiting HousingIsKey.com, or by calling (833) 430-2122. Additionally, if you are an applicant who has already received funding through the program, you will be compensated the difference to receive 100% coverage – there is no need to re-apply!
California’s critical eviction protections have also been extended for renters impacted by COVID-19, through September 30, 2021, to help keep vulnerable families housed.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Renters: If you are an income-eligible renter, you can apply on your own and receive financial assistance for unpaid rent, dating back to April 1, 2020, or help with future payments, even if your landlord doesn’t participate.
If you are an income-eligible renter whose landlord does participate in the program, you will need to complete the joint application. Once your landlord applies, you will be notified to submit information to complete the application process.
Landlords: If you are a landlord and participate in the COVID-19 Rent Relief program, you can get reimbursed directly for 100% of your eligible renters’ unpaid rent, dating back to April 1, 2020.
WHAT HELP CAN YOU GET?
Assistance is available for 100% of unpaid rent and utilities, dating back to April 1, 2020, as well as future rent and utility payments. Utility payments will be paid directly to utility providers at 100% of the cost, but are limited to a total of 12 months.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD YOU KNOW?
The application process has been significantly simplified. It now takes less time to complete, requires less paperwork to be uploaded, and offers helpful tips throughout the application.
Assistance from the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program does NOT count as earned income for renters and will NOT affect eligibility for any other California state benefit assistance programs, such as CalFresh and CalWORKS. All applicant information is kept private and will not be shared. Income-eligible applicants may qualify regardless of immigration status and will not be required to show proof of citizenship.
HOW TO APPLY?
To check eligibility and apply, visit HousingIsKey.com or call (833) 430-2122. Once your application has been processed, you will be notified about your application status and next steps.
If you need assistance in another language or need help checking eligibility, filling out your application, or uploading paperwork, schedule an appointment with a local organization near you by calling (833) 687- 0967.
In June of 2020, the City created a Temporary Emergency Use Permit to allow restaurants to expand their dining areas onto private sidewalks and parking lots to accommodate customers and maintain proper social distancing limits. These permits are set to expire at the end of September 2021; however, there is a continued desire for restaurant patrons to dine outdoors. The City Council decided to extend the temporary outdoor dining permits until the end of the year. The temporary outdoor dining facilities will need to be removed by January 10, 2022.
The City Council approved new standards for permanent outdoor dining for Fountain Valley restaurants at its regular meeting on August 17, 2021. The new standards approved by Council will allow for permanent outdoor seating in existing sidewalk and patio areas as well as newly constructed patio areas. Permanent barriers, planters, and railings will be required to ensure the safety of patrons and temporary tents and “e-z ups” will not be allowed.
In order to allow for new and expanded outdoor dining opportunities, City staff had to examine the City’s commercial parking requirements. Historically, Fountain Valley had strict parking requirements for restaurants, medical offices, and personal service businesses (hair/nail salons, etc.). By requiring less parking for these businesses, shopping centers can attract new food, medical and personal service businesses. As the shift in retail activities continues, both the City and property owners need to be flexible to accommodate the new dynamic of commercial real estate.
For more information on permanent outdoor dining and the changes to the parking regulations, please contact Matt.Jenkins@fountainvalley.org.